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At an Arabic school for foreigners on a quiet street in bustling Marrakech, we met a dignified yet unassuming man. He has two connections for us to explore. One is a store that sells rugs sourced from numerous rug-weaving regions of Morocco. The second is a young man working in the city whose mother's side of the family hails from a rug-weaving village in the High Atlas Mountains. We’ve got less than a week left on this Morocco trip, and we set our sights on coming face-to-face with women who weave in the traditional way. I don’t understand all the dareeja (Moroccan dialect) spoken at the table so my eyes wander and scan the room as my husband and our new acquaintance talk. Teens from Spain and England, on break from class, walk in loose groups to the café housed within the school. The women behind the counter are local, part of a social program training and employing women with disabilities. These women are deaf; I wonder how the students will interact and communicate their orders. Of all my trips to Morocco, this marks the first time I have seen sign language used. I cut my distraction short to find my place in the conversation at my table. A Google pin drop location with coordinates instead of an address is shared with my husband. On this particular trip--which has taken us places off the beaten path--we've become accustomed to getting around the country with the assistance of a pin drop shared via WhatsApp. My husband and I thank the man for his kindness and make plans to see him again under different circumstances. Before following Google Maps to wherever it may take us, we stop to visit my niece and nephew who are about to begin studies at the Arabic language school. My brother-in-law is there to get them settled and we exchange jokes about how we are moving somewhat blind on this venture but take solace in the serendipity that often presents itself in Morocco. To be continued...
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